Now that’s a spicy way to gamble

By Tim Nelson
July 23, 2018
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If you want to get crabs, go to Maryland. The Chesapeake Bay watershed is home to some of the tastiest blue crabs you’ll find anywhere, and no self-respecting crustacean feast in the Old Line State is complete without a generous helping of Old Bay, a verified staple of the regional diet. Now, Maryland has embraced its love of McCormick & Company’s blend of herbs and spices so seriously that the scent of Old Bay now wafts from state-sanctioned lottery tickets.

That’s because the Maryland Lottery has launched Old Bay Bucks, a new scratchoff (and sniff) game. The tickets not only adopt the seasoning’s iconic primary color packaging, but also emit the pleasant olfactory sensation that is the Mid-Atlantic’s premier seafood seasoning. Unfortunately, each ticket is made of paper that you probably should not eat.

The lottery gameplay itself draws on some of the foods that Old Bay complements the best. If you scratch to reveal a crab, you’ll win the prize amount shown. See a shrimp, and those winnings double up. A chicken? Well, that land-based canvas for Old Bay triples your payday. Each ticket retails for $2 and offer the potential to win up to $10,000.

Related: Best-Ever Crab Cakes

While the partnership between a state lottery and a seasoning company might seem unorthodox to outsiders, some Marylanders seem to be a lot less surprised by the pairing. After all, Maryland and Old Bay go together like Joe Flacco and elite quarterbacking.

So throw on your Ravens jersey and purple camo pants, and then buy yourself some Old Bay Bucks. You might not hit the jackpot and buy yourself a lifetime supply of the Chesapeake’s finest blue crabs, but you don’t have to be a winner to savor the smell of Old Bay.